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Camel Genome

The Bactrian Camels Genome Sequencing and Analysis Consortium presents its 2.01 Gb draft genome sequence of the Bactrian camel genome in Nature Communications this week. The group sequenced both an 8-year-old wild male Bactrian camel from Altai province, Mongolia, and a 6-year-old male Bactrian camel from Inner Mongolia, China. From this, the researchers were able to identify rapidly evolving genes involved in metabolism that may enable the camels to endure life in the desert.

"We found that many genes related to metabolism are under accelerated evolution in the camel, compared with other even-toed ungulates such as cattle," Yixue Li, from the Shanghai Center for Bioinformation Technology and a co-author of the paper, tells Nature News.

Nature News says that those metabolism genes that allow the camels to have high blood glucose levels are also implicated in type 2 diabetes in humans. "A closer study of how camels respond to insulin may help to unravel how insulin regulation and diabetes work in humans," it adds.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.